Close search
Back to results
Hybrid and enabling technologies

Consumer energy systems providing cost-effective grid support (CONSORT)

  • $2.89m

    ARENA Funding

  • $7.99m

    Total Project Value

  • Project basics

    ARENA Program

    Research and development

    Lead Organisation

    Australian National University

    Start Date

    Jan 2016

    Project Partners

    TasNetworks, Reposit Power, University of Sydney, University of Tasmania​

    Location

    Bruny Island, Tasmania

    Status

    Current

Project Basics

ARENA Program

Research and development

Lead Organisation

Australian National University

Start Date

Jan 2016

Project Partners

TasNetworks, Reposit Power, University of Sydney, University of Tasmania​

Location

Bruny Island, Tasmania

Status

Current

The project will develop an innovative automated control platform and new payment structures that will enable consumers with battery systems to provide support services to a constrained electricity network.

Need

Australia’s high residential solar uptake is pushing networks to their technical limits. Networks are faced with the choice of either limiting further renewable uptake or undertaking costly network upgrades. Both options have the potential to negatively impact consumers.

Project innovation

The consumer energy systems providing cost-effective grid support solution uses consumer-owned battery systems to provide network support and value to owners. This will enable high household renewable penetrations and other network constraints to be managed at a much lower cost than is conventionally possible. CONSORT will trial research that addresses two key technical challenges:

  1. How to automatically coordinate consumers’ battery systems to achieve capacity and voltage support outcomes?
  2. How to automatically reward consumers for the services their battery systems provide?

The control system, the first of its kind, is fully automated, requiring no ongoing day-to-day consumer or utility interaction. The platform explicitly models the network, allowing it to calculate near-optimal control decisions whilst ensuring that the network remains within its operating constraints. This is possible because of the distributed nature of the platform, which allows it to scale to real-world network sizes.

Benefit

These new capabilities will be demonstrated during peak load events on Bruny Island, Tasmania, to relieve the undersea cable supplying the island and reduce the need for expensive diesel generators.

The project will reduce TasNetworks’ operational costs on Bruny island, replace diesel consumption with hydro power and rooftop solar, and reward island consumers for their investment and support.

CONSORT will also bring in a new revenue stream for consumers with solar photovoltaic (PV)-battery systems, and provide a new lower-cost principled solution and tool for utilities to manage network issues. In the future, this solution could carry over to other types of consumer systems, including electric vehicles, hot water heating and smart appliances.

Media

More information

Contact information

Sylvie Thiebaux, Professor, The Australian National University

+61 0409 307 521

Sylvie.Thiebaux@anu.edu.au